November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Gratitude
We are incredibly thankful for the campus safety and security, emergency management, and other professionals who work diligently to keep our campus communities safe. Your meaningful contributions and collaborations allow these communities to thrive. Have a safe and joyous Thanksgiving holiday!

Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Information for Colleges and Universities

Colleges and universities in the U.S. conduct some of the world's most important research in chemistry, medicine, agriculture, and other fields. They are also home to sports complexes and training facilities. These institutions frequently possess chemicals of interest (COI) that are regularly used, stored, or made in:

  • Chemistry labs
  • Research facilities
  • Pool complexes
  • Agricultural facilities
  • Medical programs 

While COI may have benign uses, such as medical research or facility maintenance, they also have the potential to be deliberately diverted, released, or otherwise misused by terrorists.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulates security at high-risk chemical facilities under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program, 6 C.F.R. Part 27. The program identifies and regulates high-risk chemical facilities to ensure security measures are in place to reduce the risk of the misappropriation or misuse of chemicals by an adversary.
Many college and university facilities are required to comply with the CFATS regulation. Facilities that come into possession of COI at or above quantities and concentrations specified in the regulation must report their chemicals to DHS within 60 days through an online screening tool referred to as a Top-Screen. DHS conducts a dynamic multi-tiered risk-assessment to determine whether a facility is high-risk by evaluating potential consequences of an attack, the facility's inherent vulnerability, and threat factors. Facilities with COI below threshold quantities and/or concentrations are not required to report to DHS. Upon receiving confirmation of its high-risk status, a facility must develop a Site Security Plan (SSP) that addresses 18 risk-based performance standards (RBPS). DHS works with facilities to select and implement security measures in their SSP that are appropriate to the facilities' circumstances and satisfy the RBPS.
DHS can assist colleges and universities by helping them determine how to secure and monitor their buildings, operations, and other areas. A variety of tools are available to facilitate compliance with CFATS:
  • The Chemical Security Assessment Tool Help Desk provides timely support to chemical facility owners and operators. Contact the help desk at 1-866-323-2957 or by email.
  • Chemical Security Inspectors and other DHS subject matter experts are available to provide guidance to facilities through outreach meetings, calls, and other engagements. Please direct inquiries to CFATS.
  • CFATS Tip Line provides for anonymous chemical facility security reporting. If you believe a facility is violating the CFATS regulations, contact the CFATS Tip Line at 1-877-394-4347 (1-877-FYI 4 DHS), or by email
Visit DHS' Critical Infrastructure: Chemical Security web pages for more information.

Professional Development Opportunities

Title: Communicating and Collaborating Effectively to Improve Citizen Safety - Now and in the Future
Organization: Emergency Management
Date:  December 12, 2017 at 2:00 PM ET
Location: Online
Fee: Free
Title: Critical Decision Making for Complex Coordinated Attacks (PER-335)
Organization: National Center for Biomedical Research and Training
Date: January 4, 2018
Location: New Orleans, LA
Fee: Free
Title: National Intercollegiate Athletics Safety and Security Summit
Organization: National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security
Dates:  January 15-17, 2018
Location: Orlando, FL
Fee: Free

For additional trainings and events, access our searchable online calendar.

Weekly Snapshot Directory
Access previous
Weekly Snapshot articles in our easily searchable directory, which is updated monthly.

Participate in our NCCPS Institute!
Regional offerings of our groundbreaking Trauma-Informed Sexual Assault Investigation and Adjudication Institute are open!

On-Demand Webinars
View any of our numerous free webinars on a variety of topics in our  Campus Public Safety Online  series. 

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This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.